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Frequently Asked Questions

Why excess screen-time should be a worry?

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that screen time may be associated with delayed development in young children.
According to data, 1-year-olds who were exposed to more than four hours of screen time per day showed delays in communication and problem solving at ages 2 and 4.
Also, more screen time for 1-year-olds was associated with developmental delays in fine motor and personal and social skills at age 2.

Young children learn by exploring their environment and watching the adults in their lives and then imitating them. Excessive screen time may inhibit a child’s ability to observe and experience the typical everyday activities they need to engage with in order to learn about the world, leading to a kind of “tunnel vision,” which can be detrimental to overall development.

How does open-ended/sensory play help in reducing screen time?

Open-ended and sensory play offer a compelling alternative to screen time for a few reasons:

  1. Engagement: These activities are designed to be immersive and engaging. They use a child's senses of touch, sight, smell, and hearing, which can hold their attention much longer than passively watching a screen. Think about the difference between feeling cool, squishing playdough and watching a video about someone else playing with it.
  2. Creativity and imagination: Open-ended play doesn't come with a set script or storyline. Kids are free to use their imaginations and invent their own games and scenarios. This is a big contrast to most screen time, which is pre-programmed and doesn't require much creativity.
  3. Physical Activity: Sensory play often involves moving around, pouring, scooping, building, and creating. This gets kids up and moving, using their bodies in healthy ways, as opposed to the sedentary nature of screen time.
  4. Social Interaction: Open ended play can be done alone, but it's also a great opportunity for social interaction and collaborative play. Kids can build together, take turns using materials, and create stories together. This is a social aspect often missing from screen time.

By providing these engaging alternatives, you can give kids a natural way to step away from screens and delve into a world of exploration, imagination, and creativity.

At what age can I start with open-ended/sensory play for my child?

  • Open-ended and sensory play can be started at a very young age, even as early as infancy(0 +).
  • Babies explore the world through their senses, so providing them with safe sensory experiences like different textures, sounds, and colors can be beneficial from the beginning.
  • As they grow, you can continue to introduce open-ended play activities that encourage exploration, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

How does open-ended/sensory play lead to brain development in children?

Open-ended and sensory play act like a full-body workout for a developing brain, strengthening neural pathways and building essential skills in several ways:

  • Brain Connections: When kids engage their senses through touch, sight, smell, and sound, they create new connections between neurons in their brains. These connections are crucial for future learning, memory, and complex thinking. Sensory play acts like a foundation for the brain's wiring, making it more receptive to new information.
  • Sensory Integration: Sensory play helps children learn to process and organize sensory information from their environment. This can be especially helpful for children who may struggle with sensory processing issues. By encountering a variety of textures, sounds, and smells in a safe and controlled way, they can develop a better understanding of their senses and how they interact with the world.
  • Problem-Solving and Creativity: Open-ended play allows children to experiment, explore cause and effect, and figure things out on their own. They can build, take apart, create new things from everyday objects, and solve problems they encounter during play. This fosters critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.
  • Fine Motor Skills: Many sensory activities involve manipulating objects of different shapes, sizes, and textures. This helps develop the small muscles in the hands and fingers, which are essential for tasks like writing, grasping utensils, and getting dressed.
  • Language Development: As children describe their experiences during sensory play, they develop their vocabulary and communication skills. Talking about the textures they feel, the sounds they hear, and the things they create helps them build language fluency.

All of these benefits combined contribute to a strong foundation for overall brain development in children. Sensory play allows them to explore, experiment, and learn through their senses, building the skills they need to thrive as they grow.

Why do parents love independent play?

There are several reasons why parents love independent play for their children:

  • Independent play is crucial for a child's development in many ways. It helps them develop problem-solving skills, creativity, imagination, and focus as they figure things out on their own. They can also learn from their mistakes and build a sense of accomplishment when they complete a task or create something independently.
  • When children play independently, they learn to entertain themselves and become more self-sufficient. This can be a valuable skill as they grow older and face situations where they may need to be on their own.
  • Let's be honest, parenting is demanding! Independent play gives parents a much-needed mental break. It allows them to recharge and take care of their own needs, whether it's getting some work done, having a cup of coffee in peace, or simply taking a shower without interruption.
  • Knowing their child can play independently allows parents to truly cherish the time they spend playing together. They can come together for more focused, high-quality interactions when they've both had some downtime.
  • Independent play also provides parents with a valuable opportunity to observe their child's interests, strengths, and any areas where they might need some extra support.
  • In short, independent play is a win-win for both parents and children. It allows children to develop important skills while giving parents a well-deserved break and the chance to connect on a deeper level during playtime together.

Our Story

"My child is super active, super energetic, and learns everything so fast. As a parent, I don't have that bandwidth to plan cognitive activities for my child!". This is what I keep hearing time and again from my pre-school parents...

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